Wednesday, 15 May 2019

Traditional Educational Institutions in Child Education in Sierra Leone

The 11 plus common entrance examination is usually used for entrance into independent all-girls schools in year 6, however, mixed schools and boys schools often use to test the children with the 13 plus examination, in year 8.

Preparation for the 11 plus common entrance examination is an entry admission exam used to assess a child before offering they are offered a place within an independent school. This common entry examination is set by The Independent Schools Education Board, however, some schools decide to set their own test. It is often best to ask the school and find out what tests they will be using as this examination is vital if you want your child to attend a specific independent school.

Education has changed immensely, particularly over the last few years and there is increasing pressure on students to perform and achieve. As standards are improved, the expectation bar is raised. 11 plus subject tutors are experts in their field and it's not uncommon for 11 plus tuition to be used to prepare children for this important examination.

The 11 plus common entrance exam is an important part of the selection process for any independent or private school. Parents are very passionate about their child's education and may have had their child's name on the list of a prestigious school for many years. There is often a build up to the examination, as the parents know well in advance, and they want to ensure that they are offered a sought after school place. Private tutors for 11 plus can certainly step in and help. They can help your child to prepare for their common entry exam in the key examination areas including English and maths, along with verbal and non-verbal reasoning. As a student, the child is expected to demonstrate strong abilities in these key areas.

11 plus tuition can be really beneficial for your child, and the sooner they start preparing, the easier the exam will be. One-to-one tuition and focused tuition can develop a child's knowledge and help them to learn the important skills they need to succeed. This type of focussed teaching can be extremely useful as the teaching is individual and it's easier to identify any gap areas. The sooner they begin to prepare, the sooner these skills will be embedded into their learning. Students will have the opportunity to take practice papers and can even gain experience of exam conditions. This ensures that any exam situation is much less daunting for the child, and they are not only prepared but also confident.

11 Plus tutors are experts in their subject area. When educational excellence is essential, it becomes the tutor's responsibility to make sure that the student is all set for their exam. The good thing about using a subject expert is that they will be knowledgeable in their subject area, and as they are part of the education sector, are also aware of the common entry examination process.

Often, an exam is not the only entrant test and they will most likely have to attend an interview also. Private tutors are not tied to a specific curriculum, they are there to support your child and this means that not only can they help your child in specific subjects; they can also help them prepare for their entrance interview. 11 plus subject tutors are often experienced particularly in this area and they can coach your child through the interview process.

11 plus subject tutors make it their mission to coach and support children through the 11 plus tuition process. 11 plus subject tutors can be an important investment and can help to kick-start your child's future. Their subject knowledge and understanding of the 11 plus process are certainly advantageous and make the transition into secondary school, seamless. For those looking to start a career as a diving instructor in the UK, it is essential to pass the Approved Driving Instructor (ADI) test, which is rigorous in ensuring that those who are teaching learners to drive have the skills and qualities to keep their students safe and teach them effectively.

The ADI theory test is run around the country in addition to a practical driving test, and these are combined to ensure that only the best and most competent are allowed to teach learner drivers. As with many other driving tests, the ADI theory test should be treated as a serious matter and should be studied for well in advance of the actual test itself.

First and foremost, it is important to remember that practice makes perfect when it comes to this test - and the practical one too - and therefore investing in a guide to help you get the highest score possible is strongly recommended. Thankfully, there are plenty excellent online guides that can help you do this, and you can find one to fit your needs and preferences.

One of the first aspects of a great guide is that it contains a mix of practice tests and instruction on the actual content of the test. These two combined will give you a complete guide to everything that you need to know and everything that you need to practice in order to pass the ADI theory test the first time with ease.

There are many websites offering this kind of service, so look for one that gives you the complete package. The instruction part is important as there is plenty of content to learn and understand, and the practice part of the test is equally as significant, as it will help you gain the test-taking and time management skills that you need to be completely at ease when in the examination room.

Furthermore, the ability to practice the test before you actually take it will show you your weak areas and also help you get familiar with the most tricky questions on the syllabus. These both will be valuable learning tools that you can benefit from in order to pass the real test when you come to take it.

In addition to this, look for a ADI theory test guide online that offers a variety of packages that meet your specific needs. In many cases, people will have more or less knowledge of what they need to know, and they will need more or less time to accomplish this.

Some people prefer to take a month or two to prepare for the test, whereas others have their test booked in just a few days' time and need a crash course. Look for a online test guide provider that has an array of options - intensive and extensive - that also come at a range of price points that are suitable for different people.

Be sure to choose an online test guide that you feel is easy to use and that you are comfortable using for a long period of time. An intuitive interface is absolutely essential to get the most out of the learning experience, yet this is where some ADI theory test guide providers fail, and this means that learning and practicing is far more difficult than it should be.

If possible, ask if you can trial the service or if there is a money back guarantee if you do not like it. This can reassure you that you will not be asked for your money if it is not for you, and will give you the chance to look around to find the best interface and the best content.

These are just a few tips to help you find the right online ADI theory test guide for you. From a user friendly interface to a range of packages for different people, these are all important aspects that will affect your experience of learning and your results on test day.

UK Drive Test is the one-stop learning tool for everyone looking to prepare for their DVSA theory test exam. With tools such as our highway code theory test, ADI test, hazard perception test and much more, all bases are covered so that learner drivers and instructors can walk into their exam fully confident in their skills, knowledge and ability to get top marks. All tests feature the latest DVSA questions and feature a modern and easy-to-use interface, ensuring that learning is easy, effective, relevant and completely hassle-free. UK Drive Test has a range of different packages available so that learner drivers and trainee instructors can find the ideal solution for them.
Sierra Leone is bounded on the north-west, north and north-east by the Republic Guinea, on the south-east by the Republic of Liberia and on south-west by the Atlantic Ocean. It has an area of 27,925 square miles. The colony of Sierra Leone originated in the sale and cession in 1787 by native chiefs to English settlers of a piece of land intended as a home for African settlers who were waifs in London and later it was used as a settlement for freed African slaves. The hinterland was declared a British Protectorate on 21st August, 1896. Sierra Leone attained independence on 27th April, 1961 and became a Republic in 1971. Education is provided by both private and state-sponsored schools. The current system of education is 6-3-4-4 (that is six years Primary school, three years Junior Secondary School, four years Senior Secondary School and four years tertiary/higher education. This system is complemented by non- formal education.


Education is frequently used in the sense of instruction in the classroom, laboratory, workshop or domestic science room and consists principally in the imparting by the teacher, and the acquisition by pupils, of information and mental as well as manual skills. A wider meaning than instruction is that of schooling. That is to say all that goes on within the school as part of the pupil's life there. It includes, among other things, relationship between pupils and teachers, pupils and pupils both in and outside the school. J. S. Mill (1931) opined that whatever helps to shape the human being; to make the individual what he is or hinder him from being what he is not is part of his education. Implicitly education is lifelong and ubiquitous; it is the sum total of all influences which go to make a person what he is, from birth to death. It includes the home, our neighbors, and the street among others.

Education is to some extent a deliberate planned process devised and conducted by the educator with the purpose of imbuing the learner with certain information, skills, of mind and body as well as modes of behavior considered desirable. In part it is the learner's own response to the environment in which he lives. Education has three focal points: the individual/person upon whom the educator's influences are brought to bear; the society or community to which he belongs; and the whole context of reality within which the individual and society play their part. Man is a social creature; he grows as a person through the impact of personality on personality; and even for his basic physical needs he depends on the help and cooperation of his fellow men and women. Without society and the mutual support and enrichment of experiences which it provides civilization is impossible and the life of man, in Hobbes' words, is "solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short."

One of the fundamental facts of human existence is the tension between the pull of the past and the forward urge into the future, between stability and change, tradition and innovation. For effective living,man needs a circle of security, an area of established habits and relationship which forms dependable relationships. This is also true of society. For its effective functioning there must be an underlying continuity of traditions and outlook which preserves its identity as a society and safeguards it against the disruptive effects of change. Change must be for life and not static but this change in turn must be controlled by the basic traditions of society. It is tradition which gives a nation its character and distinctiveness as a society. The conservation of tradition therefore is obviously crucial.

It has been recognized from time immemorial that the conservation of traditional education has a vital part to play in the development of the child. The children of today are the adults of tomorrow; they must be trained therefore, to inherit and perpetuate the beliefs and modes of life peculiar to the particular society to which they belong. For every society has the desire to preserve itself not only physically but as community consciously sharing certain aims, ideals and patterns of behavior. This type of education is not necessarily formal in schools by means of classroom instruction but that effected indirectly through the family and through the impact on the individual of social influences and customs which the child cannot evade. In Sierra Leone this social education included elaborate ceremonies of initiation involving feats of endurance in which young men and women must prove themselves worthy of the community. The ultimate goal was to produce an individual who was honest, respectful, skilled, cooperative, and who could conform to the social order of the day. As Aristotle once stated "the constitution of a state will suffer if education is neglected. The citizens of a state should always be educated to suit the constitution of the state. The type of character appropriate to a constitution is the power which continues to sustain it as it is also the state force which originally created it" (p. I).


Traditional education has both a creative and conservation function in society; it is a powerful means of preserving a society's customs, if not culture. In the past the nature and needs of society played a vital part in determining the nature of education. Professor M.V.C. Jeffreys (1950) once wrote in his book, Glaucon, that "in a tranquil society the educational system will tend to reflect the social pattern, while social uneasiness and instability create opportunity for using education as an instrument of social change"(p.7). A similar view was shared by John Dewey (1897) who opined that through education society can formulate its own purposes, can organize its own means and resources and thus save itself with definiteness and economy in the direction in which it wishes to move. Education looks both to the past and the future; inevitably it reflects the traditions and character of society. Traditional education can be used to prepare for changes in society and anticipate and prevent changes or the effects of changes in society.

Traditional education conserves and hands on the customs and ways of life which constitute the character of a society and maintains its unity. It also helps society to interpret its functions in new ways to meet the challenges of change, seeking ways or lines of development which are consistent with the traditions and customs and will at the same time raise society to a more complete fulfillment of itself.

History reveals that there were no formal schools where children were educated in Pre-colonial Sierra Leone. The Poro and Bondo/Sande Secret Societies were looked upon as institutions to train children. They were bush schools. And the education these bush schools provided was informal. Children who went through these secret societies were considered capable of carrying out their civic responsibilities. They became adults and can marry and start life. They considered themselves as one family. In other words both Secret Societies created a sense of comradeship and unity among members irrespective of family, clan or ethnic affiliation. It was therefore considered that children who had not gone through these secret societies were not fully matured.

The Poro Secret Society is for boys. The spiritual head of the Poro Society is Pa Gbonu, seen only by the older graduates or members. The physical heads are the Pa Sama Yorgbors and Pa Somanos. They direct the activities of the institution. The senior instructors are the Pa Kashis, who generally teach and give instructions to other initiators. The Pa Manchiyas serve as teachers to the initiates while the Kachemas are the scaring spirits. They scare the women and children alike together with the new initiates. The Rakas are the errand boys carrying messages around. The Yambas are the head boys. The Bomos are the senior prefects while the Sayboms are the prefects; and the monitors are the Gbanaboms. Informal classes are held in the Secret Poro Bush. The subjects taught include Creative Practical Arts, Performing Arts, Practical Agriculture, Medicine i.e. use of local herbs for the treatment of different ailments), warfare and other skills. In Creative Practical Arts initiates are taught how to make fishing nets, baskets, mats, and carving wood and soap stones into different objects such as animals and humans; in Performing Arts initiates are taught singing, dancing and the use of Poro musical instruments. In Practical Agriculture initiates practice farming. Boys are taught to bear hardship without complaint and grow accustomed to it. Thus they are taken to the farms of their teachers and elders to work on pro bono basis. However during the harvest season initiates could pass through these farms taking whatever they need and eat without being questioned by farm owners. Initiates are taught to respect elders and use of guns to kill animals. In a similar vein initiates are taught how to use guns in fighting in defense of their communities. Other skills initiates are taught include making fish traps, fishing and hunting net, and basketry. In the use of herbs initiates pay money (some freely given) for healing various sicknesses as well as for protection against enemies, evil spirits and snake bites. Initiates who want to cause harm to others using herbs could 'redeem' the herb/medicine concerned. Over all initiates are taught a new Language spoken only by members called Ke Sornor. For example fonka trika meaning I am talking to you; fonka bonomi meaning Talk to me. The use of this new Language makes graduates very proud and feel different from non-initiates. Graduates come out with new names such as Lamp, Langba and Kolerr. A graduation ceremony climaxes the event.

Parents make massive preparations including sewing dresses for the graduates. To mark the graduation ceremony there is feasting, drinking, dancing and singing praise songs for the graduates and their parents. Those qualified for initiation must have been circumcised and grown to age of puberty. They have to live on their own during the period of training which ranges from one to seven years. Graduates are fully admitted to the general Poro society through another ceremony called Enkorie, which lasts for four days.

The Bondo/Sande Society is the institution where girls are trained for womanhood. Its spiritual head is Na Bondigba. The Na Gboyamas and Na Wulus are the physical heads. These have spiritual powers used to foretell the future and catch witches. They are the senior teachers. The Na Sokos are the service teachers. They can initiate girls even up to the advanced stage of the Society. The Digbas are the general teachers and stay close to the initiates. The Sampas are the skillful dancers and errand girls/women. They make announcements about the progress and activities or programs during the graduation ceremony.

The Na Fets, as the name implies do not know all the secrecy of the institution. They carry the institutional implements and regalia. The Karr Ayeamus are the 'waiters' to be initiated into the higher status of the institution. Girls admitted to the Bondo/Sande Society are trained informally. Classes are held at Kantha or sacred home. The teachers are largely concerned with the transmission to these adolescent girls the skills and knowledge which adult women are expected to possess in order to function properly and intelligently in their community. The subjects girls are taught include Cooking, Performing Arts, Fishing, Husband and Child Care, and Home Management. In Cooking girls are taught how to prepare food through observation and participation in the preparation of various dishes and are later allowed to have a go with little or no supervision. Those who could not cook properly are allowed to repeat. In Performing Arts girls are taught how to compose and sing songs and how to beat the Bondo/Sande drums (sambories). Alongside singing girls are taught how to dance and those who dance well may join the hierarchy of the Sampas. Girls are also taught how to fishing, make fishing nets, fishing baskets, sleeping mats from bamboo and palm leaves. Further girls are taught how to help their prospective husbands and how to take care of children especially those of senior members. Like the Poro Society graduation ceremonies are marked by massive preparations. Both parents and prospective husbands would buy new dresses, slippers, perfumes, powder, and beads to make neck laces. On the day of the graduation ceremony the new initiates are arrayed in white with coronets. They come out with new names such as Burah, Yeanor, Rukor and Yainkain. This demonstrates a sign of maturity. Initiating girls into Bondo/Sande society lasts between a few months and three years.


If education has the vital function of perpetuating the traditions and values of society, of adapting them to a changing environment, and of raising them to richer and more fruitful expression then both the Poro and Bondo/Sande Secret Societies, as traditional agents of this process should enjoy a position of the highest esteem. Through these secret societies the nation's culture flows from one generation to the other and the aspirations of society are focused with intimate and telling persuasion upon the young. They stand at a point where the energies of children are released into new and creative possibilities. Through these secret societies children remember the past activities of their predecessors. They help in behavioral training patterns of society. These societies are institutions of inspiration and both politicians and chiefs use them to advantage. That is to either gain or maintain power. Major and binding decisions are taken in the Poro Bush of which only members are allowed to attend and take part. The Poro Secret Society acts as a check against the abuse of power. In crisis ridden situations major decision are taken in the Poro Bush. The Poro society even acts as arbitrator in chiefdom disputes and could promulgate general laws and regulate trading practices. It is also involved in the burial of chiefs and other important local officials (Alie, 1990).

Western education has existed in the country for long and is now so integral part of the civilized life that there is a tendency to assume that it is the main or sole means of imparting skills, knowledge and social values in children. This is not the case in Sierra Leone. The importance of the Poro and Bondo traditional secret societies cannot be over-sighted because of their enormous potentiality in educating children for life in society. Fundamental is that respect for persons as persons is the basis of traditional society. Linked with this is courtesy, sensitivity to the needs of others, cooperativeness, self-discipline, moral and physical courage, hard work and high standards of achievement. These are passed on to children in the environment in which they are part of their daily experiences. Notwithstanding, these traditional institutions as agents of education are currently faced with many challenges there-by forcing their demise. The practice of female genital circumcision is of international concern and in Sierra Leone people are agitating for its total ban. Currently girls are allowed to be circumcised at age eighteen during which time a child is perceived to be matured enough to choose whether or not to be initiated into the Bondo/Sande secret society. In addition the period of initiation is perceived too long and is being challenged. Besides children these days no longer have to be initiated into these societies to be taught how to be clean, cook, rear children, practice agriculture, and inculcate morals and virtues to cite a few examples. All these could be learnt either in or outside formal schooling through reading. What is more Religion, especially Christianity and Islam, western life, as well as rural-urban migration are forcing these secret societies to obliteration.

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